By Ed Runyan
The U.S. Marshals Service assisted the Youngstown Police Department “pretty much around the clock” over the last four weeks in its successful effort to locate Aubrey F. Toney, Youngstown Police Chief Jimmy Hughes said.
Toney, 29, of Youngstown, gave himself up peacefully to members of the U.S. Marshals Service in a hotel room in Suwannee, Ga., an Atlanta suburb, at 2 a.m. Saturday.
He is being kept in the Gwinnett County Detention Center in Lawrenceville, Ga., pending legal proceedings to bring him back to Youngstown to face death-penalty-level charges.
He’s accused of being the triggerman in the Sept. 25 South Side killing of Thomas Repchic, 74, and wounding of Repchic’s wife, Jacqueline, 74, by firing a weapon into their older-model Cadillac at Southern Boulevard and Philadelphia Avenue just after they had left St. Dominic Church.
Jacqueline Repchic was shot in her leg, which had to be amputated.
Chief Hughes said Toney had been renting the hotel room for about two weeks, though it’s not clear if he had been staying there the whole time. Suwannee is about 35 miles east of Atlanta.
Hughes said police were tracking Toney in the Columbus area shortly after they identified him as a suspect. The U.S. Marshal’s Service checked about six locations in Columbus.
They continued searching locations south of Columbus in the weeks that followed before learning that Toney might be in the Atlanta area, Hughes said.
Youngstown police remained in communication with Toney’s mother while searching for Aubrey Toney, and she was trying to get Aubrey to turn himself in, the most recent time having been Wednesday, Hughes said.
“It seemed promising he would turn himself in,” Hughes said.
Ultimately, investigators learned where to find Toney as a result of sightings and information, the chief added. Reward money was being offered in the case.
“Our guys have been following leads and [working with] other agencies,” Hughes said. “We did get some tips ... I can never say enough good about the rewards program.”
Hughes added, “It’s a relief we have [Toney] back in custody, and I’m confident when he goes to court, we’ll have a conviction. Detectives did a tremendous job to identify two suspects in the case within 24 hours.
“These are two of the most dangerous individuals we have in the city of Youngstown,” Hughes said. “Getting them off the street will absolutely make the streets safer.”
Youngstown police arrested Toney’s alleged accomplice, Kevin D. Agee Jr., 25, of West Ravenwood Avenue, Youngstown, Sept. 28.
Police believe Agee drove a sport utility vehicle containing Toney the day of the 1 p.m. shooting. A Mahoning County grand jury indicted Agee and Tony in early October on charges of aggravated murder, attempted murder and felonious assault with gun specifications.
If convicted, both men could get the death penalty.
Police believe the shooting was a case of mistaken identity in a feud between two rival factions. Police say Toney and Agee saw the older-model burgundy Cadillac Thomas Repchic was driving and believed the car was that of the person with whom they had been feuding.
It could take 10 days for Toney to be returned to Youngstown, because an extradition hearing must be held.
If Toney refuses to waive extradition, it will take longer for him to be back in Youngstown, Hughes said.
He will most likely be flown here, meaning it will only take a couple days once his extradition is complete, Hughes said. His first hearing in Youngstown will be in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, the chief said.
A spokesperson at the Gwinnett County Detention Center said Saturday evening Toney did not have any hearings scheduled, but an extradition hearing would most likely occur in Gwinnett County Superior Court, also in Lawrenceville.